The Omni: Llama’s Fancy Upscale Pistol…Attempt

Llama was never the most prestigious of the three major Spanish pistol makers, and in the 1980s they decided to have a try at an upscale new pistol. The design was done by an American, Gary Wilhelm, who worked with the Stoeger company (which was Llama’s US importer). The gun was offered in both .45 ACP and 9mm Parabellum, with the 9mm version offering a semi-double-stack 12 round magazine. The gun has a very complex fire control system, with rollers, ball bearings, and dual trigger bars for single and double action. It was also very expensive, costing some $600 when new (nearly double the price of many comparable pistols, like the S&W Model 39). It was only in production from 1982 until 1986, and was by all definitions a commercial flop. The less-than-elegant lines, cost, complexity, and Llama’s generally poor reputation combined to quickly sink it.

22 Comments

  1. Hi Ian Llama did win at least one military contract.
    In fact the Llama M-82 was adopted as the Spanish service pistol in 1978 and while replaced in 2011 by the Hk USP,it still is in inventory.

  2. The coffin mag design has been used in numerous handguns for the reasons Ian mentioned – but not just in this gun and double-stack Makarovs. HK used it in the P7M13 and M10, and Hi-Point has announced their Yeet Cannon G2 will use a coffin stack mag – again, to avoid redesigning the FCS.

  3. The ridiculous position of the trigger inside the trigger guard alone is in my view sufficient to greate a “cannot be taken serious” first impression in everyone who otherwise would have taken a closer look.
    The Llama representatives in any case did their best to come out as the most arrogant at the IWA trade fair in Nuremberg.

  4. About 60 years ago, as a student, I purchased my first hand gun with absolutely no handgun experience. It was a Llama in 1911 style in .22 caliber. It was simple accurate and pleasnt to shoot.
    I have since owned many good weapons, but this is one of those guns that in hindsight I should never have sold.

  5. Well Llama, wich was in fact Gabilondo-llama, Gabilondo put in place the new trademark in the 30s for a new deaparture and new reputation that was tarnished during the war because of the Ruby pistol and it’s 10000 little shops fabrication (although those made by Llama were part of the good ones), was the last of the three spanish private small arms manufacturer to go down, in the 2000s, Star and Astra were out in the late 90s. And as somebody already say they winned the M-82 pistol contract for the army in the 80s, and it’s still in limited use. The extense Llama family is still very know even in the US as a cheap but realiable source of pistols. Not bad at all.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Llama_M82

    • The Llamas that are available in the US today are 1911s made in the Phillipines. .45 ACP and Super.38. I don’t if these are made by Armscor or if Llama makes them. The Super .38s seem to work, if you believe the Internet.

  6. You might want to read the Pistolero magazine review of the Llama Omni. They were the raucous, marginally literate bad boys of the pistol review world; they refused to take gun maker ads, so no manufacturer could bully them into giving a falsely good review.

    After they had tested the Omni, they took a picture of it with a roll of toilet paper hanging off of the muzzle. No, they did not think the Omni was a reliable gun, and they had the test results to prove it.

    No, they are not good guns.

    • At this point the original Ruby pistol looks like a better gun to have in a dark alley scuffle than the Llama Omni.

  7. This is similar to how a good actor, having become rich, begins to imagine himself a director.
    In 99% of cases, the output is outright shit.
    It would be better if they continued to make clones of 1911. They managed to make excellent guns.

  8. I remember the adverts for the Llama Omni in various gun mags from the 80s. I had no idea so much was going on inside! I cannot remember any reviews, though there must have been some, but I agree the angle of the trigger inside the guard is enough to put you off, unless you have huge hands.

    It is sad to think that the Spanish pistol industry, which was once immense, is now completely defunct. Unlike the British, the Spanish have not banned their citizens from owning pistols, but I imagine the restrictions are such that only a tiny percentage do, and without a domestic customer base, few industries can survive.

    Well done Spain, good way to kill off an entire industry.

    • Yes same in the UK and France, Spain lost nearly all it’s small arms industry both the private one and the public one that was badly mismanaged and then sold to a sub-group of General Dynamics IIRC. Only some niche for hunters and reproduction survives, but it was largley the end of the cold war and the ”peace dividend” theory that killed those industries as the armies get smaller everywhere and the reserves were good for at least 10-15 years of training and small operations, it was a perfect storm that killed nearly everything in those countries related to small arms.

    • The only worlds pistol industry factories that flourish, are the ones that aim for importing into the US market, and have a product that is highly sucessful and sought there, like XD and Glock.

      So, its not about domestic customer base.

  9. Llama handguns, though seeming rather cheaply made, shoot well and latest revolvers carrying internal “Hopkins Allen’s” “Trible Safety” were above company’s usual quality level.

  10. I’ll add myself to the people who had good experience with Omnis. Due to odd circumstances I carried one in .45 for about 9 months, and shot it maybe 50-100 rounds a week. It worked and I was accurate with it.

    And I never took it apart, toothbrush and wd-40 served for cleaning.

  11. Its not a masterpiece how to make something work being extremely complicated, but it is if you manage it with minimum number of parts possible. Here clearly it did not work out in that direction

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